41 Awesome Things to Do in West Hollywood, CA

Located between touristy Hollywood and ritzy Beverly Hills, West Hollywood offers adventurous tourists a chance to experience a slice of contemporary Los Angeles life. Internationally renowned for its historic clubs, high-end shops, and dreamy boulevards, WeHo is also one of the most trendy and tolerant areas in the USA. Without a doubt, West Hollywood is a superb home base for all your LA explorations.

For our family, West Hollywood was one of the first places we got to experience in the US. If I had to describe the experience in one word it would be: Fun! Fun, fun, fun! We hopped from one Hollywood star to the next, watched Pirates of the Caribbean in Disney’s official cinema: El Capitan, had our picture taken with a local batman and spent two full days at Universal Studios, among other things. Did I say fun already?

Dan in West Hollywood
Ourd Dan (7 years old when this was taken) in West Hollywood

That was back in 2011, so I felt it was high time for a fresh post covering all of the fantastic things you can do in West Hollywood these days. We cast a wide net with this one, trying to cover lots of cool items so that anyone can choose at least 2-3 things that could become their own highlight of a visit to West Hollywood.

41 Awesome Things To Do In West Hollywood, CAFrom fighting Voldemort with Harry Potter to chilling on Santa Monica Beach, the possibilities of a West Hollywood vacation are endless. Although it’s impossible to list everything you could do in and around West Hollywood, we’ve narrowed it down to 41 exceptional attractions in five categories: outdoor activities, iconic destinations, theatres, museums, and shopping areas. Just a few of the locations we’ll detail in this post include:

  1. Mulholland Drive
  2. Santa Monica State Beach
  3. Hollywood Hills
  4. Universal Studios Hollywood
  5. Hollywood
  6. The Dolby Theatre
  7. Griffith & Observatory
  8. The Getty Center
  9. The Sunset Strip
  10. Rodeo Drive

Anyone interested in having a rockin’ trip to this musical city should keep on reading. In this post, we’ll go over incredible travel ideas sure to make your stay in WeHo unforgettable.

Why you should visit West Hollywood

There’s a good reason why West Hollywood is sometimes called “The Creative City.” For decades, eccentric artists from around the world have left their stamp on this city’s colorful legacy. From vibrant public art murals to numerous live music venues, WeHo is a perfect place to stay if you’re into the hippest trends in the art world.

But it’s not only the arts where West Hollywood shines. As mentioned at the beginning of the post, WeHo is one of the most progressive cities in the nation with a large LGBTQ community. West Hollywood is also a global “wellness trendsetter,” which makes it a perfect place for those interested in vegan cuisine, hot yoga, or mindfulness meditation.

Thanks to its compact nature, West Hollywood is one of the easiest LA districts to navigate. Indeed, since it is so close to Hollywood and Beverly Hills attractions, it makes a great home base for exploring all the best LA has to offer.

While there’s never a bad time to visit Los Angeles, some tourism experts recommend visiting in the spring or fall. Visiting during these times has two advantages. First, you miss the peak summer season with its huge crowds, uncomfortable smog, and sweltering heat. Second, you don’t have to bother with the damp winter weather. During both spring and autumn, temps in West Hollywood usually range between 50°F – 80°F and hotel rates aren’t as expensive as in the summer.

Still not sure if West Hollywood is right for you? Check out this previous post on the best LA neighborhoods for tourists to stay in.

41 Things to Do in West Hollywood

Yes, all those West Hollywood legends are true. Here you’ll find some of the world’s hottest live music, funniest comedy clubs, and flashiest shopping districts. West Hollywood is also conveniently close to some of LA’s greatest artistic, entertainment, and coastal attractions. Let’s go through 41 of the best-known and best-hidden West Hollywood attractions.

Outdoor Activities Around West Hollywood

1. Mulholland Drive

Are you in the mood for a sensational scenic drive? How about some celebrity spotting? If so, then you need to take a cruise of the storied Mulholland Drive.

Mulholland Drive
Mulholland Drive | Photo by KimonBerlin

Located along the Santa Monica Mountains, this road stretches about 25 miles and offers exquisite views of the San Fernando Valley. For those who are pressed for time, prioritize the fantastic 360° lookout over the Hollywood Bowl. Officially known as the Jerome C. Daniel Overlook, this popular attraction at 7036 Mulholland Drive has great views of the Hollywood sign, Downtown LA, and (of course) the Hollywood Bowl.

As you enjoy the beauty of the rolling Santa Monica Mountains, you can’t help but peek at all the magisterial Mulholland mansions. Just a few big-name celebrities who supposedly live along this road include Jack Nicholson, Paris Hilton, and Reese Witherspoon. Who knows, maybe you’ll see a superstar on your drive!

2. Hollywood Reservoir

It might seem odd to suggest visiting a reservoir on your West Hollywood trip. Sure, this 2 billion-plus gallon lake is a mighty engineering feat, but is it worth your precious vacation time?

A view of Hollywood Reservoir and the back side of the Mulholland Dam — viewed from Canyon Lake Drive, Los Angeles, California.
A view of Hollywood Reservoir and the back side of the Mulholland Dam — viewed from Canyon Lake Drive | Photo by Clinton Steeds

Well, if you’re a real movie buff, you’ll instantly recognize this location from one of the great noir classics: Chinatown. Besides its connection with the silver screen, Hollywood Reservoir is a fantastic destination for those who want to re-connect with nature. Lake Hollywood Park, which is located around Hollywood Reservoir, features plenty of greenery, pet-friendly trails, and excellent views of the Hollywood sign.

3. Laurel Canyon

Located in the western portion of Hollywood Hills, Laurel Canyon is a must-stop destination for diehard rock ‘n roll fans. Throughout the 60s and 70s, this mountainous area of LA was home to countless musicians ranging from Frank Zappa and Buffalo Springfield to Peter Tork, Carole King, and the Mamas and the Papas.

The best place to begin a tour of Laurel Canyon is at the Canyon Country Store at 2108 Laurel Canyon Blvd. In the 1960s, this rather inauspicious deli was a major hangout for The Doors’ Jim Morrison. Be sure to order the deli’s famous pastrami sandwich as you take in all the groovy memorabilia. Your cashier should be able to point you in the right direction to Morrison’s former “Love Street” home and the remains of Zappa’s “log cabin.”

Looking for another legendary location? Punch this address in your GPS: 8217 Lookout Mountain Avenue. Formerly owned by singer/songwriter Joni Mitchell, this home served as the inspiration for Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young’s hit “Our House.”

4. Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook

Located in Culver City, the Baldwin Hill Scenic Overlook is a testament to the strength of LA’s conservation community. Formally opened in 2009, this 58-acre natural area was protected from building directors thanks to the efforts of local preservation activists.

The main attraction at Baldwin Hills, of course, is the 500-foot Scenic Overlook that boasts great views of Downtown LA. It’s about a one-mile uphill hike from Baldwin Hills’s Jefferson Boulevard entrance to the park’s summit, so be sure to stay hydrated and wear your hiking shoes.

Besides visiting the summit, there are plenty of picnic benches throughout the park and interesting info on this park’s history at the visitor’s center. If you’re driving to Baldwin Hills, keep in mind there’s a parking fee of $2 per hour or $6 per day.

5. Hollyridge Trail

Interested in getting up close and personal with the Hollywood sign? Well, one relatively easy way to get there is to take the roughly 3-mile hike up the Hollyridge Trailhead.

Hollywood Sign

This trail starts by North Beachwood Drive in Griffith Park and ascends some 750 feet on Mount Lee. When you reach this peak, you can easily grab a few selfies behind one of the world’s most famous sign! Please bear in mind: some parts of this path are incredibly steep, so be extremely careful as your hiking.

Also, be sure to check online before visiting this trail because sometimes Hollyridge is closed due to safety concerns. If this is the case, you’ll need to research alternate routes like Wonder View Trail or Brush Canyon Trail to get behind the Hollywood sign.

6. Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens

Visiting a zoo is always a great day trip idea if you’re traveling with kids. Like other major cities in the USA, Los Angeles has a mighty zoo befitting its grandeur.

Los Angeles Zoo
Los Angeles Zoo | Photo by Xurble

Once you walk inside, you’ll soon discover this 133-acre zoo is organized in five major areas: amphibians, birds, reptiles, mammals, and invertebrates. It’s now estimated there are well over 1,000 animals in the LA Zoo from more than 250 species. There’s also a lovely botanical garden at this zoo that boasts an exotic array of fauna from as far away as Hong Kong.

Tickets to the LA Zoo cost $21 per adult and $16 for kids between 2 – 12-years-old. To find out more about ticket prices, operating hours, and special events, be sure to check out the LA Zoo’s official website.

7. Aloha Brothers Surf Lessons

Yes, surfing culture was born in Hawaii…but Californians will stubbornly point out surfing didn’t become a global phenomenon until it entered the Golden State. So, yeah, there’s no better place in the contiguous USA to learn this noble sport than on the Californian coast.

No matter what skill level you’re at, we recommend checking out Aloha Brothers Surf Lessons on Venice Beach. Often considered the best surf instructors in the region, the Aloha Brothers offer many lesson packages to suit your budget and needs. Whether you’re just looking for a fun day with the fam or are serious about honing your craft, you can find what you’re looking for in Aloha Brothers’ catalog.+

Check out the Aloha Brothers’ website for more info on prices and how to schedule your epic lesson.

8. Culver City Park

The 41-acre Culver City Park by Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook is a lovely spot for a relaxing picnic or an invigorating jog. Located at 9910 Jefferson Blvd, Culver City Park offers guests numerous complimentary amenities including a basketball court, BBQ grills, a covered picnic area, and plenty of playgrounds of the kids. There’s also a sweet concrete skate park for any Tony Hawk wannabes out there.

Early morning view from Culver City Park, facing West. Sony Pictures Entertainment, 94 foot tall rainbow. (Unveiled October 1st, 2012.)
Early morning view from Culver City Park, facing West. Sony Pictures Entertainment, 94 foot tall rainbow. | Photo by Tracie Hall

If you or your little one want to try out the skate park, be sure to read Culver City Park’s regulations before visiting. You can find a full list of amenities at Culver City Park on its official webpage.

View from the Culver City Park.
View from the Culver City Park. | Photo by Tracie Hall

9. 26-Mile Bike Path

Unfortunately, LA doesn’t have the greatest reputation in regards to bicyclist safety. Although many cycling advocates working to create greater safety standards in the urban center, it’s still quite dangerous for inexperienced tourists to bike around the city comfortably.

If you need to get your biking fix during you LA trip, then you’d be better off visiting the 26-Mile Bike Path in Santa Monica. Officially called the Marvin Braude Bike Trail, this paved path runs alongside the Pacific Coast from Torrance County Beach in the south up to Will Rogers State Beach. As your admiring those coastal views, just be sure to look out for fellow tourists. To download a free map of the Marvin Braude Bike Trail, be sure to visit this official LA County webpage.

10. Santa Monica State Beach

Santa Monica Beach

Beach bums, rejoice! West Hollywood is less than an hour’s drive from one of Southern California’s most beautiful beaches: Santa Monica.

There are many obvious reasons people are drawn to this soft sand beach. First off, it measures an impressive 3.5 miles (perfect for those cliché “long walks on the beach”). There’s also a lovely pier in the beach’s center with thrilling amusement park rides, yummy food, and an impressive aquarium.

Santa Monica Beach is also home to dozens of exceptional events every year. A few events to look out for include the Main Street Holiday Parties, Halloween Farmers’ Markets, and the Twilight on the Pier music festival. So, whether you want a fun-filled day on the pier or an intimate sunset walk, Santa Monica Beach has what you’re looking for.

Santa Monica Beach

Iconic Destinations

11. Runyon Canyon Park

Runyon Canyon Park
Runyon Canyon Park | Photo by Jeff Gunn

Hikers, history buffs, and Hollywood fanatics will find a lot to love at Runyon Canyon Park. Named after a wealthy 20th century coal miner, Runyon Canyon Park covers 160-acres of territory in the Santa Monica Mountains. Famously, actor Errol Flynn once lived in a mansion here…and some say ghosts from the past still haunt these grounds.

There are many hiking trails to choose from at Runyon Canyon ranging from an easy 0.85-mile jaunt up 200 feet to a monster 3.3-mile trek up 800 feet. Those brave enough to climb all the way to the park’s summit (aka Indian Rock) will be rewarded with incredible views of Downtown LA, colorful flora & fauna, and (potentially) a celebrity sighting.

Runyun Canyon Park
Runyun Canyon Park | Photo by Jeff Gunn

Just so you know, this park isn’t exactly a “hidden treasure.” In fact, Runyon Canyon Park is one of the most popular hikes in Los Angeles. As long as you don’t expect a private hike on your Runyon Canyon journey, you’ll have an enjoyable trip.

12. Sunset Plaza

When you get to Sunset Plaza on Sunset Boulevard, please don’t expect a spacious shopping center. Cars will still whizz by as you walk through this area’s fun boutiques and cafés—but it’s totally worth it. Sunset Plaza remains one of the best places on the Sunset Strip for unique shopping opportunities and outdoor dining.

Probably the most photographed restaurant on Sunset Plaza is central Le Petit Four, but if you’re not into escargot there are plenty of Chinese, Japanese, Mexican, and American eateries in the area. For shopping, Sunset Plaza mostly focuses on apparel, but there are also shops here with yoga gear, jewelry, and eye care products. To learn more about planning your trip to this chill district, check out the Sunset Plaza’s main webpage.

13. Universal Studios Hollywood

Universal Studios Hollywood
Universal Studios Hollywood | Photo by Prayitno

Originally, Universal Studios Hollywood was created to take guests on a tour of, well, the movie studios. Since that time, this park has expanded to include not only mind-bogglingly immersive rides but also superb dining and shopping venues. Here you can greet King Kong on a 3D adventure, meet the minions from Despicable Me, and fly on a Nimbus 2000 with Harry, Ron, and Hermione.

It’s very easy to feel lost on your first trip to this massive theme park. Thankfully, there is a free Universal Studios Hollywood app you could download onto iOS or Android devices. Take advantage of this app’s interactive maps to better plan your visit. You could learn more about ticket prices, seasonal events, and park hours on Universal Studios Hollywood’s main webpage.

14. Petersen Automotive Museum

A visit to the Petersen Automotive Museum is a perfect attraction for the car lover in all of us. Centrally located on Wilshire Boulevard, this museum houses over 100 rare motor vehicles in some 300,000 square feet. After learning about the impressive history of cars on the first floor, visit the interactive Discovery Center for the once in a lifetime opportunity to sit in a dream car.

Tickets to the Petersen Auto Museum cost $16 for adults and $11 for kids between the ages of 4-7. You can find out more about museum hours, tickets, and special events on Petersen Auto Museum’s website.

15. Greystone Mansion and Park

You know that posh English estate you see in almost all blockbuster movies? Chances are you’re looking at Beverly Hills’s Greystone Mansion.

Dating back to the 1920s, this expertly manicured English mansion has made several appearances in major motion pictures ranging from Ghostbusters II to all three Toby Maguire Spider-Man flicks. The one film with the closest connection to this beautiful public park, however, is 2007’s There Will Be Blood. You see, the man who built this mansion (Edward L. Doheny) was the same oil tycoon that inspired Daniel Day-Lewis’s iconic character Daniel Plainview.

Although Greyhouse Mansion is a public park, guests are only allowed on the gardens most days. Sometimes, however, the gardens are closed for filming, so be sure to check Greyhouse Mansion’s website before visiting.

16. Chateau Marmont

West Hollywood’s Chateau Marmont looks like something straight out of the Middle Ages. Based on the famed castles in the Loire Valley, the Chateau Marmont hotel was completed in the 1970s and quickly became a major draw for Hollywood royalty. Just a few big stars that have stayed in this pricy hotel include Jim Morrison, Roman Polanski, and (tragically) John Belushi. As fans of Belushi already know, the legendary comedian overdosed on heroin in this hotel’s third bungalow.

Rooms at Chateau Marmont cost about $500 per night on the cheap end…but it’s nice to look around, right? Oh yeah, this hotel also has a swanky restaurant perfect for a romantic evening (more on that a bit later).

17. Hollywood Hills

Inbetween big-screen gigs, most movie stars retire to LA’s heavenly Hollywood Hills. Once you travel here for yourself, you’ll see why the rich and famous are so attracted to this region.

Take a climb up to the top of Runyon Canyon Park to get a good sense of this area’s geography and ecology. After standing on the region’s highest point, consider driving to the famed Hollywood Bowl for an unforgettable show. Any diehard music fans out there should also visit the Laurel Canyon section of Hollywood Hills to see the former homes of Frank Zappa, Jim Morrison, and many more. No matter where you turn, you’re bound to have fun road-tripping through this star-studded region.

18. Hollywood Farmers’ Market

Thanks in large part to its Mediterranean climate, California has always had a strong farming community. A quick tour of the Hollywood Farmers’ Market will give you a sense of the incredible diversity of California’s produce. From fresh fruits & veggies to meats, cheeses, and nuts, you’ll find something to tantalize your tastebuds on a stroll through this market. On top of all the great food offerings, the Hollywood Farmers’ Market welcomes talented street performers and hosts special cooking demonstrations throughout the year.

The specific location of the Hollywood Farmers’ Market is on Ivar and Selma avenues, both of which are close to Vine Street. Usually, this farmers’ market takes place between 8 AM – 1 PM every Sunday. For more details, visit the Hollywood Farmers’ Market’s webpage.

19. Sunset Strip

Measuring only about 1.5-miles long, West Hollywood’s Sunset Strip is the epicenter of rock ‘n roll awesomeness. Here you’ll find all the legendary nightclubs like Whisky a Go-Go, The Troubadour, The Roxy Theatre, and the Viper Room that once featured bands as big as Led Zeppelin, The Doors, AC/DC, and Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers.

If music isn’t your thing, then perhaps you’d prefer visiting one of the Sunset Strip’s equally famous comedy clubs like The Laugh Factory or the Comedy Store. The Sunset Strip also has quite the reputation in the literary community thanks to the highly respected bookshop called Book Soup.

20. Stahl House

Along with Greystone Mansion, the Stahl House is one of the most filmed and photographed homes in LA. Created in the 1960s by USC’s Dr. Pierre Koenig, this Hollywood Hills home is a fantastic example of modernist architecture with its deceptively simple design, elegant swimming pool, and heavy use of steel and glass.

The Stahl House does allow visitors, but you must book a reservation well in advance through the house’s online portal. If possible, book your tour of the Stahl House later in the day to take in the unforgettable views of Downtown LA. For more information on how to book a tour, visit the Stahl House’s webpage.

21. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Yes, we already talked about Universal Studios Hollywood, but the ultra-popular Wizarding World of Harry Potter is worthy of special attention. Every muggle who visits this magical themed area must plan ahead if they want to see every sight, ride every ride, and still have time for a mug of butterbeer.

Hogwarts Castle in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Hollywood.
Hogwarts Castle in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Hollywood | Photo by Breakfast221

First off, consider visiting during off-peak times (e.g. January or September) to avoid huge crowds. You should also prioritize getting on the ride “Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey” as this remains the most popular ride in the theme park. If you’d prefer to choose a wand (or, rather, have a wand choose you), then make a beeline to the equally popular Ollivanders Makers of Fine Wands. It’s a great idea to visit at least one of these attractions after rope drop in the morning to avoid a long wait.

You can find out more ways to squeeze the most magic out of your trip to Hogwarts on the Wizarding World of Harry Potter’s main webpage.

22. Hollywood

Visiting LA without touring Hollywood is like visiting Paris without seeing the Eiffel Tower. Yes, it’s cliché, but you just have to do it. Hollywood remains the most dominant force in the entertainment industry and it has a whole lot to offer tourists. From visiting Grauman’s Chinese Theatre to participating in a live TV recording, there’s plenty to do, see, and selfie in Tinsletown.

Grauman's Chinese Theatre

If you can, try to keep these three major streets in mind when visiting Hollywood: Sunset Boulevard, Melrose Avenue, and Hollywood Boulevard. Most of the entertainment attractions are on Hollywood Boulevard, while Sunset Boulevard and Melrose Avenue are better known for their shopping, dining, and nightlife.

Need more help planning your trip through this legendary district? Check out this “Beginners Guide to Hollywood” put together by LA’s tourism board.

23. Hollywood Walk of Fame

Sure, Oscars are pretty, but you really know you’ve made it in show biz when you’re on the Hollywood Boulevard Walk of Fame. Officially unveiled in 1960, this famous sidewalk between Gower and La Brea Streets measures about 1-mile and contains the names of over 2,600 immortal entertainers.

Hollywood Walk of Fame

Whether you’re looking for Mickey Mouse or Mötley Crüe, try your best to research the Walk of Fame beforehand to avoid bumping into fellow tourists. Also, don’t hesitate to walk into a local tourist shop for a map if you’re struggling to find your favorite star.

West Hollywood Theatres

24. The Greek Theatre

The Greek Theatre in Griffith Park is one of LA’s oldest outdoor live entertainment venues. Opened in the 1930s, this Hellenic-inspired theatre is best known for hosting hot live musical acts throughout the year. With a seating capacity just below 6,000, the Greek Theatre is ideal for people who want to see big-name acts in a somewhat intimate outdoor setting.

Just as a heads-up, some people have issues parking by the Greek Theatre because of its location in a hilly, residential area. The theatre does, however, offer a shuttle service for those who are willing to park off-site between Crystal Springs Drive and Los Feliz Boulevard. Visit the Greek Theatre’s website to find out more details on parking and upcoming events.

25. The Dolby Theatre

Formerly known as Kodak Theatre, the Dolby Theatre is a relatively new venue on Hollywood Boulevard. Although only opening in 2001, this theatre has gained international attention for hosting big events like the ESPY Awards, the finale to American Idol, and, of course, the Oscars.

The entrance to the Dolby Theatre
The entrance to the Dolby Theatre | Photo by Thomas Ormston

Anyone interested in walking on the red carpet into this opulent theatre must purchase a guided tour ticket online or in-person. Just a few highlights of any trip through the Dolby Theatre include seeing a real Oscar statue and sitting in the VIP Dolby Lounge. You can find out more about tour tickets and times by checking out Dolby Theatre’s “Tour Information” page.

By the way, there’s a hidden EarthCam camera planted across from the Dolby Theatre. Be sure to call your family and friends when you’re here and wave to them! You can find the Dolby Theatre Earthcam on this link.

26. Pantages Theatre

Any Broadway buffs visiting LA need to check out the events calendar at the Hollywood Pantages Theatre. Situated on Hollywood Boulevard, this Art Deco-themed theatre now serves as the City of Angeles’ hub for traveling Broadway troupes.

People who want to see the biggest Broadway musicals on the West Coast won’t find a better destination than Pantages Theatre. Learn more about what’s going on at this historic theatre by visiting Pantages Theatre’s website.

West Hollywood Museums

27. Los Angeles County Museum of Art

With over 140,000 art objects spanning some 6,000 years, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) still owns the title for the West Coast’s largest and most diverse art museum. From ancient Buddhist and Hindu statuary to original Picassos, you’ll find a little bit of everything in this vaunted museum’s halls.

Los Angeles County Museum of Art

Although not formally a contemporary art museum, the LACMA works hard to showcase the up-and-coming artistic talent and often features special events and art installations. Be sure to see what’s going on at the LACMA before your visit by checking out their website.

28. Hollywood Bowl Museum

Can’t afford a show at the Hollywood Bowl? Don’t let that stop you from visiting this LA landmark!

Few tourists are aware the Hollywood Bowl has an attached museum with 10 fascinating displays commemorating the venue’s long history. Not only is this museum incredibly informative, but it’s also 100 percent free. Please keep in mind docents are only allowed to lead tours of more than 10 people.

If you’re going on a self-guided tour, be sure to print out a map on the Hollywood Bowl Museum’s official webpage. You could also learn more about the museum’s seasonal hours on this helpful website.

29. Madame Tussauds Hollywood

At Madame Tussauds Hollywood you’ll have the opportunity to greet some of your favorite celebrities in wax figure form. Sure, it’s super kitschy…but it’s also a whole lot of fun!

Where else could you sit with Forrest Gump, dance with Elvis, smile with Marilyn Monroe, and dine with Audrey Hepburn? Plus, Madame Tussauds Hollywood now has interactive VR and 4-D experiences to help you feel even closer to the movie action.

Standard tickets cost between $20 – $31 depending on whether you book online or at the door. To find out more about this museum’s hours and ticket packages, be sure to visit Madame Tussaud’s Hollywood’s website.

30. La Brea Tar Pits and Museum

Anyone with an inkling of interest in the natural sciences must book a trip to La Brea Tar Pits and Museum on Wilshire Boulevard. Thanks to the thick layers of tar in these pits, scientists have been able to unearth extremely rare skeletons and millions of fossils from the Ice Age here.

Since La Brea Tar Pits remains an active site of investigation, you could actually watch a live excavation unfold before your eyes. After exploring the tar pits, be sure to visit the museum and 3D theatre on-site to learn more about the amazing creatures discovered in this area.

Pro tip: the La Brea Tar Pits Museum offers free admission every Tuesday in September and the first Tuesday of every month besides July and August. For more info on regular ticket prices and museum hours, visit this link to the La Brea Tar Pits & Museum website.

31. The Hollywood Museum

If Hollywood memorabilia is your thing, then the Hollywood Museum is the place to be. Museum curators say there are at least 10,000 Hollywood-related artifacts housed in this spacious four-floor building.

Here you’ll find cars, props, scripts, and photos of some of your favorite stars like Lucile Ball, Daniel Radcliffe, and George Clooney. By the way, the Hollywood Museum houses the original makeup studios where star as big as Mae West, Katharine Hepburn, and Marilyn Monroe once got all “glammed up.”

The Hollywood Museum is usually open from 10 AM – 5 PM Wednesdays through Sundays. To purchase your tickets online, visit The Hollywood Museum’s official webpage.

32. Griffith Observatory

Famously featured in James Dean’s Rebel Without a Cause, the Griffith Observatory is one of America’s most respected astronomical centers. Founded in the 1930s, this observatory offers guests a chance to look at the stars through incredibly powerful Zeiss 12-inch refracting telescope. Other popular attractions at the Griffith Observatory include watching a film and/or seeing a live demonstration in the Samuel Oschin Planetarium.

Griffith Observatory

Keep in mind the Griffith Observatory is closed on Mondays. Normal operating hours are between 12 PM – 10 PM Tuesdays through Fridays and 10 AM – 10 PM on the weekend. Find out more about special exhibits going on at the Griffith Observatory by clicking on this homepage.

33. The Getty Center

Although it’s about a 30-minute drive west of West Hollywood, it’s totally worth taking a day trip to Brentwood’s Getty Center. After riding on the Getty Center Tram, you’ll be treated to soaring architecture, a glorious garden, and fantastic views of LA basin.

Getty Center

Oh yeah, and there’s also a lot of art here! The Getty Center houses European treasures from about 1600 AD up to the present day in four pavilions. Trust us, you’ll need all day to fully enjoy all the Getty Center has to offer.

While admission to the Getty Center is free, there is a parking fee that ranges from $15 – $20 depending on the time of day. Visit Getty Center’s main website for more info on hours of operation.

34. Frederick R. Weisman Art Foundation

People interested in Modern and Contemporary art will really enjoy a tour of the Frederick R. Weisman Art Foundation. Located at 265 N Carolwood Drive, this surprisingly rustic-feeling foundation contains hundreds of the most eye-catching works from movements like Abstract Expressionism, Pop, and Modernism. All of the roughly 400 works preserved at the Frederick R. Weisman Art Foundation date from the early 20th century till today and include canvasses by Andy Warhol, Cézanne, Mark Rothko, and Picasso.

People interested in going on a guided tour must call (310) 277-5321 or email [email protected] well in advance. Find out more info on this museum on the Frederic R. Weisman Art Foundation website.

35. Museum of Death

Visiting a museum full of pet taxidermies, funeral gear, and letters from serial killers certainly aren’t exactly the cheeriest experiences on an LA vacation. Those who are interested in horror, however, might “enjoy” a trip to LA’s Museum of Death.

Museum curators say their mission is to help visitors will feel a bit better to be alive. After an hour of walking through this self-guided museum dedicated to grotesque, there’s no question you’ll have a newfound appreciation for the Californian sunlight!

Please note: photography and the use of mobile devices is strictly prohibited in the Museum of Death. Also, you cannot purchase online tickets to the Museum of Death; all tickets must be ordered at the museum’s kiosk.

36. Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust

The story of the LA Museum of the Holocaust (LAMOTH) begins in the 1960s at Hollywood High School. During this decade, a group of Holocaust survivors decided to preserve their respective families’ artifacts so that future generations could learn from the horrors of WWII. Eventually, this vision led to the creation of what is now the LAMOTH in Pan Pacific Park.

As the nation’s oldest survivor-founded Holocaust museum, the LAMOTH plays an important role in educating the public on the brutality of Nazi Germany. The museum’s founders hope the artifacts housed in LAMOTH will encourage future generations never to repeat the horrors of the past.

Admission to LAMOTH is free of charge and the museum is open between 10 AM – 5 PM Mondays through Thursdays and on weekends. LAMOTH is only open between 10 AM – 5 PM on Fridays.

Shopping

37. The Grove

If you’re a fan of celebrity TV, then you might already know about the 600,000 sq. foot mall called The Grove. Located in Fairfax, this outdoor shopping complex used to serve as the headquarters for Extra and was even featured in one series of Dancing With The Stars.

Celebrity attention aside, The Grove has swiftly become one of the go-to high-end shopping and dining locales in LA. Just a few of the stores you’ll find here include American Girl Place, Apple, J. Crew, Coach, and Michael Kors. The Grove is also home to a deluxe movie theatre and unique restaurants, bakeries, and chocolate shops.

38. Melrose Avenue

Stretching between Santa Monica Boulevard and Lucile Avenue, Melrose Avenue is one of the funkiest shopping & dining areas in LA. On Melrose, you’ll find plenty of eclectic shops selling everything from fine rugs to fantastic bicycles. Melrose also has quite the reputation on the healthy eating scene thanks to its numerous vegetarian and vegan-friendly restaurants.

Even if you don’t have much money to splurge, it’s worthwhile taking a stroll down Melrose Avenue at least once. Keep a lookout for all the magnificent murals, trendy architecture, and free art exhibitions at the Pacific Design Center’s Museum of Contemporary Art. Indeed, West Hollywood’s Pacific Design Center – which features huge blue, green, and red buildings – is a wonderful place to stop for some fun selfies.

39. Universal CityWalk Hollywood

Want to have fun at Universal Studios without paying an entrance fee? Consider a trip to Universal CityWalk Hollywood.

Located just outside the Universal Studios theme park, CityWalk is a fun-filled shopping and dining district that’s become extremely popular since it opened in 1993. There are currently over 60 stores and restaurants in CityWalk including Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., Buca di Beppo, Sketchers, and Sephora. For entertainment, CityWalk features an IMAX movie theatre, live musicians Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville, and an iFly indoor skydiving experience.

There’s no charge to visit Universal CityWalk Hollywood, but there are parking fees depending on where and when you park. General parking before 6 PM costs $25, but it only costs $10 after 6 PM. To figure out more details about parking at CityWalk, check out the official Universal CityWalk Hollywood portal.

40. Beverly Center

The eight-floor Beverly Center south of West Hollywood is a giagantic apparel mall with even more commanding views of Hollywood Hills. While riding this massive mall’s many escalators, you’ll be treated to dazzling views of the surrounding LA scenery.

Beverly Center Exterior
Beverly Center Exterior | Photo by John Lopez

But it’s not just pretty views that attract shoppers to the Beverly Center. A few of the hottest stores currently in this mall include Dolce & Gabbana, Hugo Boss, L’Occitane, and Louis Vuitton. Anyone into apparel will really dig a trip to this huge shopping center.

41. Rodeo Drive

Rodeo Drive

Tourists looking for a stereotypical Beverly Hills experience should look no further than Rodeo Drive. Measuring about 2 miles, this elegant street is home to dozens of the world’s most exclusive name-brand stores.

Rodeo Drive

From Gucci and Giorgio Armani to Ralph Lauren and Rolex, if you could dream it, it’s probably on this high-class street. People who’ve got a taste for the luxurious side of life shouldn’t pass on a walk down this fashionable drive. Don’t worry; window-shopping isn’t a crime.

Best things to do in West Hollywood at night

Trust us, you won’t have any trouble finding things to do in West Hollywood after dark. Indeed, WeHo has become synonymous with its nightlife scene over the past few decades. Here are two fantastic suggestions for how to spend your evening in this electrifying city.

Take In A Show At A Famous Nightclub

Ever since the 1960s, the Sunset Strip has been the place for live music, especially rock bands. True rock ‘n roll fans will enjoy a visit to the legendary Whisky a Go-Go even if it’s just to experience the nostalgia of the performance hall. No, they haven’t figured out how to resurrect Jim Morrison yet, but that won’t stop you from having a rockin’ evening at the Go-Go. Check out what’s going on at Whisky a Go-Go and order tickets on the club’s Facebook page.

Don’t see anything at Whisky a Go-Go that strikes your eye (or, rather, ear?), then check out equally famed clubs like The Roxy or The Viper Room. Maybe you’re not feeling in the “musical mood” tonight? Well then, get ready to laugh your butt off at The Comedy Store or Laugh Factory. There’s simply no way you can’t have a fantastic time late at night on the Sunset Strip.

View A Late Night Taping

Aside from NYC, there’s no better city on earth to take part in a late-night taping session than LA. A few of the exciting shows you could see filmed live include “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” “The Voice,” “The Late Late Show with James Corden,” “Real Time with Bill Maher,” and “Conan.”

A great benefit of taking part in these shows is that tickets are free of charge. The drawback, of course, is you can’t plan your days. Usually, you have to enter your name into an online lottery before your visit to LA and hope you grab a few lucky tickets.

Hey, it’s worth a shot to put your name in the running, right? Be sure to find out more tips for getting those highly coveted taping tickets by visiting this official article put together by the LA Tourism Board.

The Most Romantic Things to do in West Hollywood

West Hollywood might not be Paris or Venice, but it’s got its own hipster romantic charm. Whether you and your significant other like fine wine, fine art, fine food, or just a good ol’ rockin’ time, you’re bound to find something romantic to do in this city. Here are just two suggestions for epic romantic adventures in WeHo.

Low Budget Romance: Selfies By “Urban Light”

LA’s contemporary art scene is constantly changing with new installations and performance pieces going up every day. One art installation that seems to be here to stay, however, is “Urban Light” in front of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

Completed in 2008 by artist Chris Burden, this series of hundreds of street lamps have a hauntingly romantic allure that draws dozens of visitors every single night. For a fantastic & free way to immortalize your romance, look no further than a few pics by this dynamic public art installation.

A Romantic Splurge: Dinner At Chateau Marmont

Few places on earth scream “romance” as France’s Loire Valley. Luckily for those in West Hollywood, there’s a little touch of the lovely Loire nearby: the historic Chateau Marmont hotel. You and your beloved will feel like royalty as you dine at the Chateau’s highly awarded (and admittedly high-priced) restaurant.

No, you won’t find In-N-Out Burger prices here, but you also won’t find In-N-Out Burger service. As you sit on the garden terrace enjoying seasonal French cuisine, you’re bound to feel romance in the air.

Interested in learning more? Check out the Chateau Marmont’s menu, reservation policy, and room prices on the hotel’s official webpage.

More about California Travel

I know this was a super long post, but if you made this far and still want to read more about traveling in California, here are a few suggesterd posts in this blog –

8 Best Things to do in Anaheim, CA (Besides Disneyland)

10 Best Things To Do In Pismo Beach, CA

19 Best Cities to visit in California (Bucket List Post!)

41 Awesome Things To Do In West Hollywood, CA

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